Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Leadership lived: Professor helps expand computer science curriculum

As an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Illinois Springfield, Lucas Vespa is always adjusting to the world’s changing technological and cyber security needs.

Vespa realized the need for a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Security to train students to protect our country’s virtual infrastructure. He took charge writing the degree plan and taking it to the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

“I think that this new degree is going to be not only a popular one, but one that’s going to serve our state and our country,” said Vespa.

Vespa is an active teacher-scholar, having published eight papers in research journals. Much of his research is conducted with undergraduate students.

“I get really excited about working with students and being able to give them the opportunity to actually write and publish in real computer science conferences and journals,” he said.

His next project includes working with another student on high-end graphic processing units to find ways to make them perform better.

“I went into my higher degrees in order to become a teacher. That was my main goal and so being at a place that’s so teaching orientated, yet values scholarship like this is really important to me,” said Vespa.

The bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Security is expected to be offered at UIS starting in the fall of 2014.

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